A brand new day, a brand new year, and a brand new eye.
It's the first day of 2017 and it's a good reason to make an entry in this almost-abandoned blog. It's been a busy year, but a very limited vision was the main reason I was not writing as much as before, as much as I wanted to.
On 21 December, 2016, I received a new lens in my right eye. I had gone through an emergency operation to remove the cataract that had become thick and dense, and which had led to acute glaucoma. The eye has fluid going in an out through a "drain" but due to the cataract, it was blocked causing pressure to build up. The result is intense pain and discomfort due to the tension. The pain had caused my systolic blood pressure to hit 208. Tests done by the doctors-on-call later showed that the pressure in my right eye was 60 against a normal pressure of 20.
I had been advised to go to the Emergency section of the Hospital University Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) by my optometrist friend, Asoc. Prof. Dr. Haliza Mutalib. I had lamented to her that the brief and mild pain which had started just a day before, had become consistent and more intense since dzuhr that day. I must say that Dr. Haliza was my primover when I was in that vulnerable situation. When I had visited her for a check-up earlier, she had told me the bad news that I couldn't wait any longer, I had had to get the cataract removed immediately. She had referred me to the top specialist in HUKM, but due to the large number of cases, I only managed to secure an appointment in mid-January. But my eye couldn't wait...the cataract had to be removed immediately and I was put on top of the prioroty list for surgery, but the pressure in the eye had to be reduced first.
Dr. Haliza was so right about the opthamologists and doctors in HUKM. I must say they were very profesional, even the Medical Officers. The nurses too were so attentive, helpful, efficient and kind. The service was at par with private hospitals and facilities, being a teaching hospital, I believe are no match. I was put through various tests and checked by three doctors at least each time, but I didn't mind being a case subject.
I am now recuperating and my vision is slowly but surely improving day by day. I was in denial and was hoping that the cataract could be treated like other diseases without having to go through surgery. It couldn't.
|The Zain Ahmed sisters celebrating Merdeka Day like only they know how! How proud and happy we felt to be Malaysians...and sisters.|
Being a future beneficiary of a (small) piece of land in the majestic state of Kelantan, I began to feel I finally belong here. I have always loved Kelantan, but having been born and living in KL and Selangor all my life, there was nothing much to attach myself to it save for some relatives remaining. Suddenly I feel an immense sense of pride and belonging, and I wanted to do something special for the coming Merdeka Day.
And I wanted to do it in style. I wanted to capture the moment for us, my sisters and for our children and grandchildren and great, grandchildren to see and remember. Wednesday the 26th of August, the second day we were in Kelantan, my sisters and I had dressed up in traditional Malay fashion and...we made it happen. The sweetest and most memorable gathering of four Zain Ahmed sisters at the site of a Sultan's palace. No less.
This is Istana Jahar, once the home to DYMM Sultan Ahmad
ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad II (Sultan Bibir Merah).
This information was provided by a Facebook friend from
the Kelantan Royal family, KijangMas Perkasa.
The Sultan was his great, great, great grandfather.
This beautiful Istana is in immaculate condition
and has now been turned into the
Muzium Adat Istiadat DiRaja Kelantan.
|I guess these city girls were just so desperate to look like the typical sweet and demure Kelantan damsels hahaha!! Regardless, we were all so very happy and had so much fun doing this together, in the spirit of family togetherness and patriotism.|
|A curio shop in the Museum compound. Too bad they didn't sell little hand-held Malaysian and Kelantan state flags. We were overloaded on nationalism that day.|
I am also blessed with three wonderful sisters with whom I had become very close with ever since the demise of both our parents. My late Mama had always made sure that we sisters remained close to each other. She wouldn't hear of any squabbling between any four of us, and had made it clear that the younger ones had to always respect the older ones.
|A caricature of my late grandparents done by my uncle Ayoh Mae. Both passed away on the very same date, 6th of September, twelve years apart.|
|My grandfather Hj Ahmad. This picture was taken by my late father. I carry his name in mine.|
|Some beautiful images taken by Amirul Hilmi Ariffin of my kampung.|
|A caricature of the four of us by a very witty uncle of ours whom we affectionately call Ayoh Mae. It's a depiction of the scene we created when the leeches started coming, according to his imagination.|
As I walk upon you,
I walk upon myself.
When I prostrate to our Creator
in shameless repentance,
for all the wrongs I have done,
it is you who touch my tears.
It is you who caress the skin on my forehead,
it is you who ground me.
As I bow in submission
and gain my rightful place.
On you, with you,
that is where I belong.
You have witnessed it all my Earth.
There is nothing you don't know about me.
Because we are one.
You and I.
|Abang, you're not going to see the stars you know...|
|This was the first ever expedition of this sort and we were not about to miss this historical event!|
|Marzia was thrilled when Prof. Dr. Shamsul from UMT handed her a pair of Nikon binoculars. Enough already Adik, it's time to move on!|
|Little did Aiman know that I was also nursing chronic inflammation of the skin on both my feet due to excessive sweating during farming. :-)|
I had not imagined that my son has taken over the responsibility of being the caretaker. I guess like most moms, I had thought that I had to always be the one looking out for the children and taking care of them till the day I die. And like most moms, although they are full grown adults, they would forever remain as our babies.
Aiman's words had brought tears to my eyes, and of course the compulsion to write this entry. I can't help but sense there's some pride in him that his mom had accomplished completing the course. These are but little things, but they give me enormous strength and desire to forge ahead and take on bigger challenges in my life. They are the precious gems that are priceless to me, and I cherish them more than anything else in this world.